‘CARE for those who care for us’ says MP after rise in abuse of pharmacy staff.
Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson, who is also the Formby MP, said that he was shocked to hear of ‘aggressive and in some cases violent’ behaviour by members of the public towards pharmacy teams. He said that community pharmacies are ‘on the frontline of the response’ to the coronavirus pandemic across Sefton and that teams were ‘working incredibly hard to maintain the high standards of care that patients and communities expect.’
He said: “In these extremely challenging times we need to care for those who care for us, and this includes pharmacists and their staff.
“Chemists are a public service on the frontline of the fight. With the right support pharmacies can continue to serve our communities and provide the medicines we need.”
Pharmacy teams are a critical part of the NHS and in the past weeks they have seen demand for Over- The-Counter medicines, other products, advice and reassurance soar.
Pharmacy teams are under intense pressure, working on the front line of the health service often without any protection for their own health.
The Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) is asking patients and members of the public to:
- Avoid pharmacies if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19: If you have a dry, persistent cough, fever or shortness of breath, please avoid entering your local pharmacies as you would any other healthcare setting.
- Be patient: All pharmacies are under immense pressure and working around the clock to ensure that you get what you need.
- Order medicines as normal: There is no need to stockpile medicines. Ordering extra prescriptions and buying more over the counter medicines than you need will contribute to disruption to the medicines supply chain, which is otherwise robust.
Pharmacies will remain open wherever possible, but you may see that some are now having to reduce the hours during which they can admit members of the public. This is to ensure that pharmacy teams can carry out tasks such as preparing medicines and restocking shelves so that these vital services can continue safely.
Most pharmacies can be contacted by phone and email, and many have their own websites and social media channels – please use these methods to contact your pharmacies if you are displaying the symptoms of COVID-19.
The chair of Sefton LPC Lisa Manning added: “Community pharmacy teams are a really important part of the NHS, and like all other NHS workers they are under immense pressure at the moment. “We are asking patients and members to the public to take some very simple steps to help protect these teams so that pharmacies can continue to carry out their critical roles and ensure that everyone continues to get the medicines, help and support they need, when they need it.”